What You're Saying vs. Thinking on a First Date

There are few things in life as simultaneously thrilling and awkward as a first date. In fact, pulling off a first date often feels kind of impossible, like competing in a spelling bee when you have a fear of public speaking.

And yet, somehow, you do it — you superhero (the first dates, not the spelling bee, thank goodness!). Bustle and L’Oréal came together to celebrate the enigma that is the first date — a place where up is down, left is right, and what you say and what you mean are pretty much always two different things. Read on, as we decode the difference between what you’re saying and what you’re thinking on a first date.

L’Oréal Paris (the sponsor of this article) recommends Youth Code Pore Vanisher so you have one less thing to worry about. Go out to the casual-dining establishments and intimate cafés of the world for hours of small talk with the confidence of an eighth-grade Jeopardy champion, because it would be silly to worry about something like your pores.

1. Finding the Restaurant

What I'm Saying:

"No, I haven’t been waiting here long at all! I didn't have any problem finding this restaurant, I'm in this part of town all the time."

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

"I was nervous about not knowing where this place was, so I showed up 20 minutes early, hid in the store across the street in case you also arrived early, got cornered by the salesperson there, and that is why I now have $35 worth of potpourri in my purse."

2. Choosing a Dish

What I'm Saying:

“I’m really excited to eat here! I have totally been meaning to try it. I hear they have great kale salads and a wonderful selection of locally sourced, ethically harvested quinoa.”

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

“The second this date is over, I am going home to eat a piece of cheese the size of my head.”

3. Pre-Date Research

What I'm Saying:

“It’s so great to finally meet you in person after all that emailing!”

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

“And Google stalking. So much Google stalking. Oh, God, why did I do so much Google stalking? How am I going to look surprised now when he tells me how many siblings he has, or where he went to school, or that he spent the summer of 2005 at some kind of science camp studying the life cycles of manatees?”

4. Getting Personal

What I'm Saying:

“I totally love Third Eye Blind.”

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

“No, no, I do not love Third Eye Blind. I actually kinda hate Third Eye Blind. Why did I lie about that? Oh, no, what if this ends up being a facade that I have to maintain throughout our long-term relationship, which culminates in our Third Eye Blind–themed wedding, and the birth of our first Third Eye Blind–themed child?”

5. Revealing Your Sense of Humor

What I'm Saying:

"Ha ha, Leo the Waiter, that joke you made about our obviously being on a first date because we seem kind of awkward was very funny! Ha ha! I am easygoing and have a great sense of humor."

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

"I WILL KILL YOU, LEO THE WAITER! KILL YOU WITH THIS LOCALLY SOURCED QUINOA RIGHT NOW!"

6. Forgetting the Past

What I'm Saying:

“My last boyfriend and I just wanted different things. We’re still really good friends, though.”

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

“Yeah, we wanted different things, because what I wanted was to date someone who was not such a complete doofus."

7. Keeping it Cool

What I'm Saying:

“Tell me more about that Celtic pan flute group you said you were in. That sounds fascinating!”

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

“I am sweating so much, my Spanx appear to have fused with my skin. The only way to handle this is to ask about something really boring that only he cares about, and then slowly peel these puppies apart from my body under the table while he's distracted."

8. Going for Round Two

What I'm Saying:

"Oh, yes, another glass of wine would be nice."

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

"Ohhhhhh yes, I would love another glass of wine!"

9. Getting Out Unscathed

What I'm Saying:

"I had a really great time tonight..."

vs.

What I'm Thinking:

"Do I make the move to kiss him? If I make the move to kiss him, and then he hugs me, I am gonna freak out. But what if he's waiting for me because he doesn't want to seem too forward? But what if we both try to kiss each other at the same time, and somehow miss each other's faces, and then we have to never talk ever again, because it was way too embarrassing and weird?

"Maybe I'll just go for a handshake."

Written by Gabrielle Moss

Images: Guian Bolisay/ Flickr, Giphy (18)